Chico State student Maurice Conner is one of many students who is passionate about keeping the Chico State a safe place. That's one of the main reasons he worked to bring back MARS, Men Against Rape and Sexism. " I felt the need to have an organization on campus that helped educate those of us that may not know exactly what we're doing to our fellow students and community members," said MARS president Maurice Conner .
MARS was first started at Chico State in 2005, but fizzled out in 2009 due to a lack of participants. But with it's return, and current membership of 10 students, organizers are hopeful the club is here to stay, and that this time it will make an impact. " The main reason that I joined personally was to help to make the campus a better place, a safer place, a better educated place," said Nicholas Berry, vice president for MARS.
According to a crime report released by the Chico Police Department, there were 31 rapes in Chico in 2011, that's down from 41 in 2010. Chico State University Police reported 9 of those rapes happened either on campus property, or in student housing. Though the numbers have shown a decrease, members say it's still not enough. " If there's one rape, that's too many," Berry said.
The clubs second wind is also good news for organizations like Catalyst. Executive Director Anastacia Snyder says she hopes to work hand in hand with MARS. " Having strong male allies working alongside us and g-sec and sexual assault organizations to end violence against woman and girls is so critical to the work that we do," Snyder said. Critical work that MARS members plan on taking very seriously. " Closed mouths don't get fed, if you don't stand up for a cause, if you don't fight for what's right, then what's right will never happen in society," Conner said.